Guide to Buying the Best Pumpkin Seed Oil
Pumpkin seed oils were traditionally used as a culinary oil in Eastern Europe, originating in eastern Austria (Styria), Slovenia and Romania.
Styrian pumpkin seeds are a dark green color and the oil has a strong, nutty flavor. This particular strain of pumpkin seed oil is a great source of plant-based fatty acids, antioxidants, magnesium and zinc.
Historically, farmers would cold-press the seeds to extract the oil. This method would preserve the precious fatty acids and active ingredients found in the seeds.
Due to growing popularity, pumpkin seed oils are now marketed all over the world.
Many international producers will use generic, white pumpkin seeds which produces a lower priced oil.
While these generic-grade oils may share some of the same active ingredients found in the original Styrian pumpkin seed oils, the overall nutritional qualities, taste, smell and texture may not be the same.
This is similar to comparing high-quality virgin olive oils, made in Italy, to lesser quality generic olive oils…the two are not even comparable.
If you want the best oils for maximum health benefits, you should choose products that will provide the highest quality and purity.
This guide will focus on why the best pumpkin seed oil should be bottle liquids made from unrefined, organic pumpkin seeds using non-heat, cold-pressed techniques.
Why Bottled Oils are the Best Pumpkin Seed Oil
Pumpkin seed oils are available in bottled oils and soft gel capsules.
If you’re going to use pumpkin seed oil, we believe the best form is the bottled liquid…similar to how virgin olive oils are packaged and marketed worldwide.
While many nutritional supplement companies may try to market pumpkin seed oil in capsules as a convenient health supplement, using liquid oils will allow you to see, smell and taste the actual oil, just like a quality olive oil or a vintage French wine.
The highest quality, unrefined oils can be made by cold-pressing organic pumpkin seeds.
Information about Styrian Pumpkin Seed Oils and Other Pumpkin Seed Oils
Traditionally, the best pumpkin seed oils were made from Styrian pumpkins found in Austria and other parts of Eastern Europe.
These types of oils will have rich nutty aroma and a dark, green color.
The dark color is from the chlorophyll found in the husk of the pumpkin seed and only Styrian pumpkins will give you this particular color.
Depending on the type of seed used, the oils can also come in darker reds and lighter greens.
Pumpkin seed oils with a more whitish or clear color will usually be made from seeds with less active ingredients than darker colored oils.
Similar to the reputation of high-grade olive oils made in the Mediterranean, many chefs consider imported pumpkin seed oils from Austria to be the ‘cream of the crop’ for intense flavor, color and nutritional properties.
Best Pumpkin Seed Oil Product Recommendations
You can find a number of high quality products at your local gourmet food store or from online retailers.
We believe that the best pumpkin seed oil should have the following qualities:
- made from organically-grown pumpkins
- using cold-pressing techniques to produce flavorful, unrefined oils undamaged from heat or chemical processing
- choose bottle liquids over soft gel capsules
Based on our above recommendations, here’s a list of products we believe meet these requirements.
Deimel Pumpkin Seed Oil has won numerous awards of excellence for their authentic Styrian/Austrian Pumpkin Seed Oils.
This company is based in Styria, Austria, and is a family farm that’s been producing high quality pumpkin seed oils for generations.
If you’re looking for an award-winning pumpkin seed oil, look no further than Pumpkinseedoil.cc.
This family-run business has been shipping their award-winning pumpkin seed oil all over the world for decades.
These high-quality oils are made on a family farm in Austria, and comes with an Original Green White Seal that verifies the authenticity and the actual batch lot of pumpkin seeds used to make this original Styrian pumpkin seeds oil.
The batch lot allows you to trace the origin of the pumpkin seeds used to make the oil.
While many of these farms are based in Austria, you can buy pumpkin seed oils in North America.
Hay River Pumpkin Seed Oil is a family-owned pumpkin farm based in Wisconsin.
Their gourmet pumpkin seed oil has a beautiful, deep red color and they highly recommend using it in salad dressing or enjoy its pleasing flavor as a dip for breads. These are wonderful ways to get the health benefits from this healthy oil.
Many nutritional supplement companies have now jumped on the bandwagon and offer their own brands.
While there are many questionable products of varying quality and purity, you should look for products that follow the traditional methods that use unrefined, organic, cold-pressed pumpkin seeds.
One such brand is Flora Certified Organic Pumpkin Seed Oil.
We purchased this product from a local health food store.
It’s an unrefined, virgin oil made from cold-pressing organic pumpkin seeds. The oil has a dark, natural color and we found it had a light nutty flavor that was quite delicious on salads and protein shakes.
How to Store Liquid Pumpkin Seed Oil
- Store the oil in a cool dark place less than 20 degrees Celsius.
- Look for oils packaged in dark glass bottles to keep out light.
- Opened bottles should be recapped and stored in the fridge.
- Most products will last about 12 months after being opened. However, they may lose some aroma and nutrients with time.
Prices for 100% pure liquid oils can range from 8 – 12 ounces for about $10 – $15. You can also find pumpkin seed oils imported from other countries, such as Austria, that can cost about 20 Euros for 32 ounces (about $25), but you may also have to pay higher shipping costs to ship the product.
Buying Pumpkin Seed Oil Soft Gels and Capsules
Pumpkin seed oils are also available in encapsulated soft gels and capsules.
The most important factor to look at when choosing pumpkin seed oil soft gels is what are the ingredients in the oils and what ingredients are used to make the soft gel.
You can find 100% organic pumpkin seed oil soft gels, however, some products will come mixed with other healthy oils, such as flaxseed oil.
Many soft gels and capsules are produced from animal collagen.
If you follow a vegan or meat-less diet, you may to choose products that only use a vegetarian-based soft gel made from plant sources.
Pumpkin seed oil soft gels are usually sold in dosages of 500 mg. to 1000 mg. sizes.
At press time, we found average prices can range from $10 to over $40 for a minimum of 90 capsules per bottle or more.
Here are some suggested brands that make pumpkin seed oils in soft gel and liquid form:
Now Foods Pumpkin Oil Soft Gels – contains 100 capsules of unrefined, expeller-pressed pumpkin seed oil (Curcurbita pepo) oil packaged in 1000 mg. soft gels. The soft gels are made of gelatin, glycerin and water. Suggested Retail Price – $14.59 and works out to $0.14 cents per soft gel.
Life Extension Water-Soluble Pumpkin Seed Extract – what I like about this particular product is it comes as a water-soluble extract packaged in vegetarian capsules. The water-soluble form is reported to help increase absorption of the oil. Comes in quantities of 60 soft gels each providing 262 mg of water-soluble pumpkin seed extract. Each soft gel also contains rice flour, vegetable cellulose (capsule), maltodextrin, stearic acid, vegetable stearate, silica. Suggested Retail Price – $21.77 which equals @0.36 cents per soft gel.
Flora Pumpkin Oil Certified Organic Pumpkin Oil is cold-pressed from the plant species cucurbita stilbo and cucurbita maxima grown in pesticide-free farms in Austria and Hungary. The dark green oil has a fresh flavor and is an excellent source of omega-3’s, 6 and 9 fatty acids. Suggested Retail Price – $14.98 per 8.5 ounce bottles.